Record US markets boost Asia and Europe

The record high notes hit by US indices yesterday are setting the tone for both Asian and European markets as the week draws to a close.

The record high notes hit by US indices yesterday are setting the tone for both Asian and European markets as the week draws to a close. For the moment Asian stocks have shrugged off trade war concerns with the focus shifting to China’s new stimulus package which is expected to boost consumption and cut import tariffs from other countries. Shanghai stocks rallied 2.4% and the Nikkei hit an eight-month high trading up 0.8% on the day. European markets are also powering higher with the FTSE in the lead, trading up 0.83%. Miners continued to perform strongly within the index as a slightly weaker dollar is working in favour of commodity prices. Glencore, Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP are taking four of the top five places on the leader board of FTSE risers. 

The pound, however, is losing ground with Brexit disputes rumbling in the background. The latest stab at Prime Minister Theresa May came from former Brexit minister David Davis who said that at least 40 Conservative MPs would vote against her Brexit proposal. With the PM unable to catch a break over Brexit the pound has little chance of firming against the euro. It is trading down 0.33% against the common currency and almost the same against the dollar.  

Oil stabilises after Trump takes stab at OPEC

Brent crude is trading back above $79 as it recovered from an almost 0.8% drop triggered by President Trump criticising the oil cartel OPEC. As new US sanctions on Iran loom oil prices have been on the rise. But the US is keen to avoid oil becoming too expensive and has already asked Saudi Arabia and Russia to keep pumping more oil. Though some sort of informal agreement seems to have been reached this week Saudi Arabian officials said that they were comfortable with higher oil prices, provoking Trump’s ire who tweeted that the region would be unsafe if the US withdrew its military support. The angry comments are aimed to focus the minds of OPEC oil ministers who will meet Sunday to discuss whether they need to raise production to counterbalance the potential loss of Iranian oil. 

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